John Maccrone Ready For Car-breaking Acropolis Rally

Scots rally ace John MacCrone (correct, MacCrone) heads into the second round of the World Rally Championship Academy, the Acropolis Rally in Greece, on Thursday (May 24), prepared for a tough three days.

The 22-year-old from the Isle of Mull, who impressed on his debut in the rain-lashed opener in Portugal earlier this season, admits the Acropolis Rally is likely to be a car-breaker.

"The stages in Portugal were tough, but having seen the Greek stages, this is going to be even tougher," the Pallet Force and Tunnocks-backed driver said after completing the two-day recce.

"Traditionally it's a real car-breaker. We'll be concentrating on ensuring we can achieve a competitive pace without damaging the car.

"It's also unbearably hot. Think of coming to Greece on holiday, then putting on a fire-retardent suit, plus a heavy race suit, and strap yourself tightly into the car.

"Then imagine doing a flat-out workout in a gym, which is as small as a Ford Fiesta cabin, with the sun streaming in — and no aircon. That's how hot it will be.

"We're also thrown right in at the deep end: the opening stage, which is run in the dark on Thursday night, is also the longest of the rally.

"After that we can start cranking the pace up through Friday, but the main thing for us is to make sure we finish on Saturday and score good points."

And MacCrone, co-driven by Glasgow's Stuart Loudon in the Rally Team Scotland car, admits he will have to adapt his driving to the gruelling conditions.

"Every rally driver's default is is to go flat-out, at least mine is," MacCrone smiled, "but I'll have to pull it back a bit this weekend if we're to get to the end.

"There's no point in being fastest through the opening two or three stages only to break the car and fail to finish.

"We're definitely going for the finish in Greece, and I can't wait to get started on Thursday."

MacCrone, who has also attracted new sponsorship from clothing firm Musto, heads into the opening 25kms stage at Kineta on Thursday evening, before tackling a further eight stages on Friday.

The WRC Academy event, part of the sixth-round of the World Rally Championship, finishes on Saturday after the closing four stages.

This MacCrone's first season in the official one-make feeder series to the WRC, which sees the world's best young drivers compete in identical Ford Fiesta R2s.

The winner receives the opportunity to contest all rounds of the 2013 WRC in a Fiesta R2. Alternatively, they can opt to compete in five rounds, stepping up to a Fiesta S2000.